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34

Is this something that predates back many civilizations ago? Or is this a relatively newfound trend? In general, it is a relatively new trend of the last few centuries, and many old cultures have/had no such concept or tradition. Keep in mind that surnames in many cultures are a relatively new trend. There was no name to drop upon marriage if you didn't ...


8

There is a substantial amount of information on Wikipedia, with legendary use of family names going back to 5,000 years (plus or minus) and documented use going back at least 3,600 years. There is also information on that page around the derivation of English family names from occupations, personal characteristics, etc. Predating the use of family names are ...


8

It seems that the diminshing use of the Roman three-name practice (which includes the cognomen as the 3rd name) was primarily due to the influence of early Christian & Greek "naming" traditions. Personal Names of the Aristocracy in the Roman Empire During the Later Byzantine Era ... Personal names in the Byzantine era of the Roman Empire ...


6

I'm kind of curious where you got this idea that USA slaves had Christianized African names. I've never heard it before, and it goes against just about everything I have heard about African-American slave names. Certainly the first folks off the boat may have had their names Anglicised, but that's not that different from any other immigrant. For instance, I ...


5

[Note: I took the thrust of the original question to be about the origin of patrilineal naming conventions, but that is a step removed from what is actually asked. I leave the answer anyway, as I don't feel it is entirely without merit.] Since you ask the "why", it's worth pointing out that, similar to the wheat and chessboard problem, if neither partner ...


4

Why is it that the maiden name is traditionally dropped when a woman is getting married? Is this something that predates back many civilizations ago? Or is this a relatively newfound trend? Inheritable family names may be considered a relatively new trend, only dating back to the dawn of the Renaissance in Europe, that is, their use on a large scale ...


3

In Europe last name was an attribute of noble origin. It could be either personal "award", or name of noble progenitor. Ordinary people didn't have last name at all (only first name and father's name). That means that last names existed nearly always, but only few had them. As to when last names became common, it depends upon country. As far as I remember, ...



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